Life is just a little gift
God let us have on loan
But in time he will come
back for us and take us
to his heavenly home
Alma Sue Richardson-Hammonds
Alma Sue Richardson-Hammonds, 88, passed away on April 19, 2020 at St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston New Jersey. She was born on May 2, 1931 in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest and Ora Richardson.
She was dedicated to Christ at the very young age of eight at Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas and remained a faithful Christian her entire life. Since moving to New Jersey, she attended Elmwood Presbyterian Church in East Orange, NJ. She was singing gospel songs during the last hours on earth, praising the Lord.
Alma, affectionately known as “Sue,” grew up in Fort Smith, AK. where she attended St. John Catholic School (elementary and middle) and Lincoln High School. She later transferred to Sumner High School in Kansas City, Kansas. where she graduated in 1949. It was always her dream to attend this school which her father helped build at its current location (Sumner Academy on 8th and Oakland). During the construction of the school her father supervised the carpentry team consisting of people of all races.
Alma met her husband John Henry Hammonds in Kansas City, KS. where they were married in 1951. She remained married to John Henry until becoming a widower in 2002. Seven children were born of this marriage, including one son since deceased. Alma started her career working at University of Kansas Medical Center’s Department (now known as) Dietetics and Nutrition in an administrative position, and later for the Social Security Agency as a civil servant worker. Later in life, having a passion for learning, she attended Avila College (now a University) located in Kansas City, Missouri to pursue a degree in business administration while working full-time, being a wife, and raising her seven children – her most rewarding role.
Alma, a creative spirit, enjoyed many hobbies, including writing poetry and creating different kinds of crafts. She created displays for church and local school events, and decorated for holidays, especially her famous Christmas decorations, both of which she received numerous recognitions. She loved to travel near and far. Her motto was “have car, will ride” where she had an opportunity to travel to most of the states within the US mainland and many places abroad, which Cape Town, South Africa and Montreal, Canada were some of her favorite places.
While living in the Kansas City area she was very active in community and social organizations. Alma was an active member of the PTA’s at every school her children attended, as well as an active member of the National Association of Colored Women, the Oak Park Neighborhood Association KC, and was a Girl Scout Leader for 13 ½ years where she held numerous positions in these organizations. She was politically active in the Civil Rights Movement where she helped desegregate restaurants and helped open opportunities for minorities and women in companies in the Kansas City area. She found fulfillment in volunteering for community service organizations and the church.
After the passing of her husband, she decided to relocate to West Orange, New Jersey where her daughter lives, and there she donated time at an elementary school (Hillside, Montclair NJ.) reading to students and participated in many art and poetry classes. She also participated in creative classes and clubs at the Jewish Community Center Metro West in West Orange, NJ. and at many local libraries. She competed in a variety of poet competitions such as the one hosted by NJ.’s Essex County Division for Seniors. She loved reading her poems at various events across the state. In NJ., she was active in many other seniors’ programs.
Family was always very important to Alma, and she unapologetically loved nothing more than spending time with them. Alma was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 51 years, son Mark S. Hammonds, and all of her 17 siblings of which two died before her birth. Her beautiful life will forever be cherished in the lives of her six children ( sons: Donald Hammonds (Renee) of California, John Hammonds and Victor Hammonds (Sheila) of Missouri; daughters: Barbara Hammonds of Texas, Susan Jerkins (Oscar) of Maryland, and Janis Hammonds of New Jersey); 12 Grandchildren (Tonya (Robert), Dana, Tali, Cedric, Donald, Jason (Vivian), Christina, Tiffany, Myles, Taylor, Jade, and MacKenzie), 11 Great-Grand Children (Kevin, Devin, Ryan Chandler, Chase, Chezney, Nina, Jackson, Savon, Jaida, and Eriss), four sisters-in-laws (Daisey Young (Thomas-deceased) , Elizabeth Edwards (Arthur), Josephine Richardson (John-deceased) , Nancy Richardson (Calvin-deceased) and three brother-in-laws (Virgil Hammonds (Carolyn), Arthur Hammonds, and Willie Bailey (Debra- deceased) and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, extended family, special caregivers, and many friends.
A Celebration of Life Ceremony will be scheduled for a later date. On Monday, 4/27/2020, the viewing (10 persons at a time) will be held between 10:00-11:00am, with a private graveside service from 11:00 to 11:30am. at Longview Funeral Home located at 12700 Southeast Raytown Road, Kansas City, MO. A private (immediate family) interment ceremony will follow.